Pleiades Club records, 1892-2024

Overview of the Collection

Pleiades Club (Moscow, Idaho)
Pleiades Club records
1892-2024 (inclusive)
1.5 cubic feet
7.56 megabytes, (14 files, 3 folders)  :  jpg, doc, docx, and xlsx file formats
Collection Number
MG 025
Minute books, yearbooks, photographs, and newspaper clippings relating to club activities. Some material on Idaho State and District Three Federation of Women's Clubs also included.
University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 2350
Moscow, ID
Telephone: 2088850845
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

In 1892 seven faculty wives met in the home of Mrs. Franklin Gault, wife of the university's first president, to form a book review club. President Gault joined them in the living room later, and when he learned they did not have a name, he suggested "The Pleiades Club," comparing the seven ladies to the seven stars in the constellation. The group adopted its formal constitution in 1894 and joined the Idaho State Federation of Women's Clubs in 1895, as one of the first federated clubs in the state. The first yearbook was printed in 1897.

The first project of the Pleiades was the "gold and silver book," which it had made for Idaho's exhibit at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Mrs. Gault suggested the idea; Miss Annette Bowman, a faculty member, designed the box; and the Gorham Company made the item from Idaho gold, silver, and semi-precious stones. The "book," rescued from the 1906 Administration Building fire, is now in the office of the University President.

Members of the Pleiades also helped to organize the Historical Club, and in 1901, these two clubs began to raise money for a public library in Moscow. The members started correspondence with the Carnegie Foundation, and in 1904, the Foundation granted the clubs $10,000 toward construction of a building. The library opened in 1906.

The Pleiades Club maintains a membership of 15 or 16 and continues to meet in the homes of its members. For the first 40 years, Shakespeare's plays formed a part of its program and roll call was answered with a Shakespearean quotation. Programs now include literature, music, and current events. The Club continues its active participation in civic and charitable projects.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The records of the Pleiades Club span the years 1892 to 2011/12, with the bulk of the material from the years 1940 to 1970.

The material includes minute books, the Club yearbooks that list the program for the year, reports on activities, newspaper clippings about the Club and its members, and photographs of Club members. Some Pleiades members attended state and district federation meetings, and the yearbooks and programs of these groups form a separate series.

The minute books are, for the most part, handwritten minutes of the meetings of the Club. The French Orphans folder contains some very interesting correspondence with a French family to whom the Club sent food and clothing after World War II. The Gold and Silver Book folder contains correspondence with Tiffany's and Gorham in an attempt to get more information about the book; the Performing Arts Center folder outlines the Club's plan to raise money for the Center. The certificates include merit awards and community service awards.

A note by Gertrude Axtell on an envelope, which contained two minute books, states that the first and second secretary's books were in the possession of Kathryn Truitt, and at the time of her death, Mrs. Axtell and Mrs. Eldridge went to Jack McQuade for the books but were told they had been destroyed.

A leather bound membership book given to the Club by Belle Sweet, first University Librarian, on the occasion of the Club's 50th anniversary was not among the items received by the Library, although there are photographs of several pages of signatures of Club members.

Dates listed are in ISO 8601 format (ex. yyyy-mm-dd)

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

Terry Peterson borrowed "Constitution and By-laws" book on 2012-11-01 and returned it 2013-01-08

Peggy Conrad borrowed "Constitution and By-laws" book on 2014-12-11 and returned it 2015-03-19

Terry Peterson borrowed "Constitution and By-laws" book on 2021-08-03 and returned.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Author, Description or "Title" of item, date. Collection name, collection number, box, folder. University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives, Moscow, ID.

Photographer, "Title," date. Collection name, object ID. University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives, Moscow, ID.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The minute books and yearbooks are arranged chronologically, while the material in folders is arranged by subject, then by date. The scrapbook that Mrs. Axtell started, and which she mentions several times in her writings, was very fragile; therefore, it was disassembled and the material put into folders.

No more than two copies of each yearbook were kept; others were discarded. Yearbooks for 1977/78, 1979/80, 1988/89-2006/07, and 2009/10 are missing. A copy of a booklet, "Idaho Laws Concerning Women and Children," ca. 1920, was removed from the collection and was added to the Day-NW Collection in Special Collections and Archives.

In 2012, Julie Monroe integrated Manuscript Accession 2002-17 into the collection.

Acquisition Information

The early records of the Pleiades Club were given to the University of Idaho Library by the Club in April 1967. Later records have been subsequently deposited.

Location of Originals

The access files of the digital items in this collection are located on the archive drive. Folder path: Processed Collections\Manuscript Groups\MG 025 (Pleiades Club records)\Objects. Contact University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives for access or questions.

Preservation Note

This collection contains a file in jpg, doc, docx, and xlsx file formats, so appropriate software is necessary to view.

Related Materials

In 2024 the Silver and Gold Book was professional photographed and the images were incorporated into a digital collection. Viewers can see that here: Silver and Gold Book collection.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I:  Pleiades Club Materials, 1892-2024Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1
Secretary's Minute Book
1 2
Secretary's Minute Book
1 3
Secretary's Minute Book
1 4
Secretary's Minute Book
1 5
Secretary's Minute Book
1 6
Secretary's Minute Book
1 7
Minute Books
1 8
1 9
1 10
1 11
1 12
1 13
1 14
1 15
1 16
1 17
1 18
Cash Book
1 18
Expense Book
1 19
Constitution and By-laws
1 20
New Membership Signature Book
1 21
Lists of members and officers
1 22
History and accomplishments
1 23
History and accomplishments
1 24
2 26
Gold and Silver Book, letters and documents
2 27
French Orphan Material
2 28
Performing Arts Center
2 29
Moscow Public Library
2 30
Correspondence from members
2 31
2 32
Newspaper clippings
2 33
2 34
Stars of Pleiades Poetry Celebration program, Spring 2018
Annual Announcement Booklets
Annual Announcement Booklets
object object
Digital image_90095859.JPG
Group photograph
3.39 megabytes (1 file) : jpg file format
Digital Minutes - fall 2023
Meeting Minutes
.048 megabytes (3 files) : application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document ;Microsoft Word for Windows 2007 onwards
12 October 2023 - 14 December 2023
Digital Pleiades Minutes 10-22 to May 2023
Meeting Minutes and China Program
.143 files (9 files) : application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document ;Microsoft Word for Windows 2007 onwards
October 2022 - May 2023
Digital Axtell Anniv. program.doc
Axtell Anniversary program
.053 megabytes (1 file) : application/msword ;Microsoft Word Document 97-2003
14 October 2012
Digital IN OUR 100th Year - Spring 1992.docx
In Our 100th Year
.0193 megabytes (1 file) : application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document ;Microsoft Word for Windows 2007 onwards
Spring 1992; 10 January 2024
Digital Library history.docx
Library history
.0154 megabytes (1 file) : application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document;Microsoft Word for Windows 2007 onwards
May 2017; 10 January 2024
Digital Marguerite Laughlin letter.docx
Marguerite Laughlin letter (copy)
.0384 megabytes (1 file) : application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document ;Microsoft Word for Windows 2007 onwards
May 2017; 10 January 2024; 17 February 1993
Digital Pleiades Membership list.docx
Pleiades Membership list
.0182 megabytes (1 file) : application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document;Microsoft Word for Windows 2007 onwards
Digital Pleiades officer list.xlsx
Pleiades officer list
.0158 megabytes (1 file) : application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet;Microsoft Excel for Windows 2007 onwards
11 January 2024

Series II:  Other Women's Clubs, 1898-1969Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
2 35
Idaho Federation of Women's Clubs (IFWC), Convention materials
2 36
IFWC, Yearbooks
2 36
IFWC, Constitution and By-Laws
1956, 1964
2 37
IFWC, Directories
1935-1938, 1941-1944, 1947-1950
2 38
IFWC, Endowment and scholarship funds
2 39
General Information on local women's clubs

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Local history
  • Women--Societies and clubs

Geographical Names

  • Clubs
  • Moscow (Idaho)